Academics, advocates and students gathered together for the Radical Philsophy Association's conference in South Africa. See a brief photo set below:
Above: Some of the participants in the RPA conference having lunch together at the University of the Western Cape.
I attended the conference and presented a paper entitled "Africa Policy Outlook 2009".
Students from several universities in the Western Cape, refugees from all over Africa, philosophers from North America to Africa, and representatives from civil society organizations all attended this conference...
In addition to the conference, which lasted about 4 days, we visited and/or spoke with several grassroots NGO's including the People's Health Movement, SHADE, Sonke Gender Justice Network, Social Justice Coalition, Treatment Action Campaign, Surplus People Project, and others. Above is a photo from Nyanga, a township outside Cape Town. Many of the townships in South Africa still lack electricity, water, proper sanitation, education and infrastructure. I learned quickly that post-apartheid land reform is still one of South Africa's most pressing (and complicated) economic and social justice issues.
While I was in South Africa it was winter. During this time of the year it rains frequently, however, there was an unusually large amount of rainful and many areas suffered from flooding. This also raises health concerns in some of the poorer areas of the Western Cape.
I participated in the Treatment Action Campaign's march. This was kicking off the International AIDS Society 2009 - Cape Town - conference. The march had the most unbelievable amount of energy, dancing, singing, chanting and more. I have LOTS of pictures from the march.
Finally, while I was in South Africa over 70,000 workers went on strike. I spoke with some of the workers during a huge protest through the Cape Town city center. Everyone had stories to tell about the poor working conditions and low wages they were paid. Their strike halted the construction on stadiums, such as the one pictures above, that are being built for the 2010 World Cup. They ended up agreeing to a 12% increase in wages.